How to Get Your Customer Experience Staff to Sell
This blog includes excerpts from the free E-book ‘Magical Sales in 1 one Hour’ available by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Around the age of 13, I held two very strong beliefs, essential so I thought, to the happiness of my future adult life.
The first, I would become a professional footballer. The second, I would NEVER be a salesperson.
I was wrong on both counts because long after my dreams faded of being England captain, I realised that everyone on the planet, whether they admit it or not, is in sales and influencing – there is no escaping this fact.
Born into the human race we always find our self in a position in which we have to sell, negotiate, persuade, bargain or influence – Even when we’ve consciously chosen a job that doesn’t go anywhere near the dreaded ‘sales’ word.
We’ll buy and sell houses, cars and as we enter into new relationships and becoming parents we are propelled into sales. As we influence, negotiate, agree and disagree the competing demands of our partner and children.
“But I am Not in Sales”!
I could be in IT in which 90% of my working days are spent communicating with computers but I cannot escape the fact I will still have to learn the art of sales and influencing.
To influence my pay-rise negotiation, in the dispute with one of my internal departments who want me to complete work they should be doing. When I am a customer and I find myself let down and want recompense.
20 years ago, I recall watching Anthony Robbins, the positive speaking ‘guru’ as he asked the audience for their personal beliefs on influencing.
A sizeable proportion of the audience believed that in their world, ‘sales’ didn’t play a part and had rejected this as being of little or no interest.
In challenging this he asked, “So what are you doing when you apply nice smelling perfume, aftershave or deodorant to your body”?
No one can escape the implicit need humans have, to share ideas, exchange important feelings such as confidence and trust and in affect, ‘sell’, influence, negotiate and help each other with ideas and new propositions.
Neuroscience now refers to a certain area of the brain as the ‘social brain’; designed to seek collaboration and connection with others.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are always in a relationship of influence, because it is hard wired into our cells.
For instance, scientists know that when placing a living cell on its own in a Petri dish and next to it a toxic substance, on returning to the dish a while later the cell has moved, of its own accord, away from the toxin.
We are hard wired (due to evolutionary design) to move towards things that are enriching and life supporting (pleasure) and away from those that are not (pain)
And as we shall see (in a later blog) these two dynamics, moving towards pleasure and away from pain is inescapable. They drive human behaviour, our innate need to interact, exchange, influence and survive.
How do I Get My Staff to be Comfortable Selling?
There are lots of customer experience organisations that need their staff to influence, sell and persuade but all too often staffs can be uncomfortable with the idea of selling.
Here are 4 top tips to help
- Understand their values at interview stage. Values are important, unconscious motivators that propel people to happiness and success. Specifically look for how their values will be triggered by an influencing role or not. If you already have established staff, understand their values retrospectively through an informal coaching conversation or interesting questionnaire.
- Demonstrate how their values link to their service/sales role. This is easier when the staff member has clear values such as ‘winning’, and ‘achieving’. It can be a little more complicated when staff’s share values such as ‘honesty, fairness, compassion, integrity, respect and trust’. I’ve worked with many customer experience people that have these values and also believe these mean that it’s wrong to ‘push’ products and services towards people as it cuts across their values. As the leader, coach or trainer it’s our job to demonstrate how this isn’t so and in fact is the reverse. Some of the finest salespeople on the planet are successful because these values drive their motivation.
- Conduct a small behavioural profile such as Tetramap’s 4 Elements. In only 10 questions it reveals other motivations and preferences your staff member has that you can use to help them become happy and successful in an influencing role.
- People reject being in sales and influencing because of the fear of failure and it’s our job to help people past this fear – see below.
Moving People Past their Fear of Failure
Whenever we share an idea with another person and they react positively, bringing forward our suggestion or possibility in which it might benefit them, this feels good.
It doesn’t matter whether we are talking enthusiastically about the latest film, a new restaurant, new technology or an idea they have never thought of, positive emotions are involved and they feel goooooood!
However, we rarely experience positive feelings when our idea falls flat because this can feel not just a rejection of the idea but also of our self.
As young children, we become aware of the need for feeling good about ourselves from a very early age and especially when surrounded by other children in kindergarten and school.
It is here that we form beliefs such as, we are popular and liked or that others don’t like us; that we are worthwhile in the eyes of others; or what we have to say isn’t worthwhile etc.
Psychologists recognise most of our beliefs form in the first 7 years of our life and they go onto dictate things like our confidence, and what kind of person we think we are, long into adulthood.
What works against us is the fact that it only takes one or two events to form a rigid belief in the human mind. And this is how limiting beliefs take hold of us very quickly such as, ‘I am not good at selling/influencing’.
For instance, if as a child, we once asked friends to play but they rejected this, choosing to play with others instead, we would have been prone to form some quick, very limiting beliefs about our self/our worthiness.
So it is from these types of early experiences that we begin to think and (become convinced) that who we are is someone who is good or not good at influencing and persuading.
Despite the fact we are now grown adults with many more skills and insights than we had as children.
Its one of the reasons why many service people say, “I am not a salesperson”.
Despite the fact that we are all born with virtually the same capacity to communicate and influence because influencing another person begins with asking something as simple as an open question. A skill we automatically learned around the age of two!
So we are not looking to either challenge or change their identity. Instead we are moving people to the realisation that in their current identity they already influence and persuade. Its from here that we build upon their skills and confidence.
Help Others Past their Limiting Beliefs and Feelings
In influencing, persuading or selling (they all amount to the same thing) the greatest barrier we face is the uncomfortable feelings that arise when things don’t go to plan or when we jump into the future and believe they won’t go to plan – Believing in advance the customer won’t like our approach or suggestion. As if we are the only person on the planet that has the super power to accurately predict the future.
To help staff past their fear isn’t always easy or a quick fix and takes a combination of them recognising their limiting beliefs, coaching conversations and training to help them form new workable beliefs and positive emotions.
Creating new connections to the potential and skills they posses now as adults and not the out dated beliefs of their past.
In the E-book and in part two of this blog in a few weeks we’ll look at more psychological insights and simple, conversational techniques that help overcome the doubts and limiting feelings people have about their ability to influence others.
The free E-book ‘Magical Sales in 1 one Hour’ available by contacting me at email@example.com
Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are always in a relationship of influence, because it is hard wired into our cells. Neuroscience refers to a certain area of the brain as the ‘social brain’; designed to seek collaboration with others.
Future Vision Training Ltd,
1st August 2016
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